Viewing single post of blog Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China (Busby)

There’s often a word that’s emphasized, like ‘Milky’, ‘Always’ or ‘Whatever’ as you can see from this selection.


I was talking to Daniel who is Chinese and had a rural upbringing, but has lived in Beijing for 14 years. He spoke English easily and I asked him why he thought t-shirts with writing on them were so popular at the moment. He said that they’ve been popular for at least 5 years. The English language, he said, is associated with consumer power and to wear it makes that association.

We went on to talk about the changes of the past couple of decades in China. As the youngest in a farming family with five children, he remembered the coupon system for distribution of rice and oil, and having barely enough to eat – sometimes having to borrow food from others in the village. In 1978, two years after Mao Zedong’s death, Deng Xiaoping, his successor declared that socialism and capitalism could co-exist and with this he allowed the rural population, making up 60% of the total population, to own their own land and grow the crops of their choice. With these changes, much of the rural population rapidly increased their output and became relatively profitable. This was the beginning of the rapid economic growth and development that it still underway.

Daniel said that not only had China been poor, but sadly, had been stripped of its cultural and intellectual power, particularly during the Cultural Revolution. He said that Vancouver and San Francisco had more significant Chinese culture and intellect than China. But, he said, this was changing, and that much of the population in this secular country, wanted more than buying power in their lives.